One of the most powerful and common of the human instincts to be displayed on an everyday, even moment to moment basis is what we at Dragon Tamers call the Nobility Instinct. A Companion Instinct to the Herd, Community, and Sex Instincts, the Nobility Instinct plays a huge role in human life.
As a child, my father would come home and express extreme frustration at what he called the “Me and Mine First” factor. Words were lost to him to really explain what he was trying to say, but I bet almost everyone reading this post right now has had experience with this in their life. The “Me and Mine First” factor my father spoke of is simply our instinct to advance the survival advantages for our genetic line. We see this demonstrated in many ways, such as paying for our kids collage education, or calling in a favor to help our cousin get a job interview. The simple basic rule of the “Me and Mine First” factor is that our actions enhance the living conditions of those who share our common genetic line. What of course frustrated my father was the same thing that also frustrates most of us; usually these “actions of enhancements” were not accomplished “fairly”.
The Nobility Instinct is one of the key forces that creates the “Me and Mine First” factor. However it also drives us in a number of ways, some we see as very positive, while other not so much so. The role the Nobility Instinct plays is one for driving human advancement. It is responsible for the great achievements of humanity, however when out of balance, it can be socially, and even individually a very destructive force. The real purpose of the Nobility Instinct is to drive animals to seek the right to be at the “Center” of the herd.
The Nobility Instinct tends to be expressed during times that the individual perceives as secure. Humans tend to bind and become close together during times of great adversity, but become competitive against each other during times of security.
I would like to borrow an example from our animal cousins to demonstrate what I mean by “Center” of the herd. Take the horse for example; wild horses form herds that are centered on the Stallion. Over time evolution created an instinct in the Mare that drives her to do what is necessary to become a favorite of the Stallion. Why? Not just to mate as many believe, because the Stallion will do that with all of the Mares in his herd as he see fit. Instead, the Mare seeks to have the privilege of being close to the Stallion. See the Mares and their off spring closest to the Stallion receive his personal and immediate protection. So the closer a Mare is to the Stallion, the greater the odds of her survival and that of her off spring. In the case of Wild Horses, the “Center” of the herd is easy to describe and comprehend. The Stallion is the most powerful animal in the herd and is capable of facing down almost any predator (except maybe humans) the herd may face. So if a Mare and her off spring are in the “Center Circle” of the herd, they have protection on two very important ways. First, the most likely victims of surprise predator attacks will be those on the outer edge of the herd furthest from the protection of the “Power” of the herd (The Stallion). Next the Stallion is more likely to attack and pursue a predator that is harming a Mare or her off spring that are “Important” to him.
Despite humans being a much more complex animal and the advanced state of human capabilities, coupled with the sheer size of human herd; our herd structure is still very similar. If we take the herd of a nation as an example, we have the relatively poor who work the lower paying and more dangerous jobs in the society at one end. On the other end we have Nobility either by birth right, economic status, or popular election. The Nobility is of course the inner circle, while the poor in this example are the edge or outer circle.
Now I realize that there are nearly countless dangers that the poor will face that Nobility never do, but I would like to limit this to just one example. When the nation is attacked by an external predator (another nation) the enlisted and conscripted military force is drawn from the poor, while the Officer and Command staff is selected from the edges of the Inner Circle. With a few modern day exception (Fighter Pilots being one) for most of human history the enlisted military faced the overwhelming amount of mortal danger. Their hardships and deaths hold little meaning to the society at large and to the Nobility they protect. The homes of the poor stood unprotected on the boarders of the nations lands, while the Nobility lived in the centers surrounded by high walls and the military forces made up of the very poor whose homes were relatively unprotected. Even as I write this, men and women are fighting and dying for America, but it hardly ever makes the news, however if the Presidents child twisted their ankle, see how fast that will make the news.
It is clear that even among humans, being within the inner circle is better for your personal survival as well as the survival of your genetic line.
Bring this back closer to our everyday lives, the Inner Circles most of inspire to are much more humble then the inner circle of the extremely wealthy and national leaders. Most of the time our goals are a lot less lofty, we just inspire to be part of the bosses click or to be acknowledged as a leader in our field of study, not to become president. Sometimes the group is not nearly as clearly defined, but just forms as social circle around a few “confident” individuals in the lunch room or in our local church. To the human perception, all of these circles are legitimate and so our instincts react just the same. Any given human will belong to a multiple of herds all at the same time. Our Nation can be seen as huge herd, but it is only a fraction of the size of the Human herd which exceeds 7 billion in size. Within our nation, we can belong to a state, or local community herd. At work we belong to a professional herd, while at home we belong to a separate but just as critical herd called family. Despite the complex number of herds we can belong to, herd behavior & structure remains the same across all herds.
In a health herd, or society, the Nobility instinct drives folks toward many great things. It is the force that sends our children to school, invention, science exploration, creation of business, creation of wealth and opportunity. Individually it drives us to work a little harder to try and win that next promotion, enhance or skills through education and training, and to establish good relationships with our fellow man. There is a flip side to this instinct as well. When the herd or society is unhealthy, the Nobility Instinct will bring about very adverse behavior. Common examples are discrediting political or professional reviles, scams and theft to obtain wealth, and in the most extreme cases, murder and war.
While the Nobility Instinct can drive us to great things, it is also one of the greatest sources of human misery. As we discussed, evolution built in some very powerful controls into humans to control human behavior. When we perceive that we fail to satisfy our instinctive needs, it causes us increasingly emotional distress. That emotional distress will continue to increase until either the instinctive needs are fulfilled, or the case where they cannot, the individual will suffer in a continuous pain filled and depressed state. Many humans find they experience the pain of the failure to fulfill instinct from time to time. These failures are expressed outwardly as Humble or Insecure Behavior, which as we know are markers on how other rate the worthiness of a person.
If a person finds that they are suffering this way, relief can take a number of paths. I plan to cover these ways, both the healthy and unhealthy ones during my discussion on “When Instincts are Unbalanced". It will also provide further details on how perceived factors within our environment impact the strength at which the Nobility and its companion instincts are expressed in human everyday behavior.
I look forward to your comments and questions